Category Archives: Runs

I didn’t catch the rabbit

More to come, but after running the best 40 miles of my life (I was 75 minutes ahead of my plan); my race fell apart.  Over the next 30 miles, my stomach started churning and 13 bathroom breaks later, I pulled myself from the race at 70 miles.  I’m unsure of what I ate, but something did not agree with me.  I still will put together a video since it was a great race with an unfortunate ending.

In Steamboat, getting ready to chase the Rabbit

Who and what is the rabbit?  It’s a trail race in Steamboat Springs, CO.  This race should be the most difficult event I’ve ever done.  It runs in the mountains around Steamboat and follows about 8 miles of paved road, 68 miles of trails and the rest rough jeep roads. Total is 102.9 miles, 20,191 ft. ascent and 20,191 ft. descent.   I have 36 hours to do it.

I got to Steamboat yesterday and immediately started following the course up the ski hill.  Half way up, I got rained on as you can see from the pictures below.  I was only gone from Colorado for a week, but the leaves have really changed colors quickly.

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The hill below is part of the beginning and ending climb.  There are no switchbacks in this part, it’s straight up and straight down.

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On the way up the hill, I met another runner.  His name is Walt and he was also checking out the course.  We ended up meeting today and hiking another part of the course.  Coincidentally, the same trail I just left, The Continental Divide Trail, is part of the course and we hiked on it today.

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More views of the colors from the course below

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A little time off before returning to Colorado and the Video

First and foremost, here is 4 weeks in Colorado edited down to 12 minutes

Last night, Preston and I went to the Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul concert.  It was a lot of fun since it was on the grass outside the Long Center.  However, next time we’ll save the ticket price and sit on the grass a auditorium shores which is just 100 feet away.

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I’m heading back to Colorado this week for the 103 mile Run Rabbit Run race.  More info to come in the upcoming days.

Leadville 100 2016

 

For the last 30 hours Mike and Mark ran the Leadville 100.  The race is an out and back of forest roads, the Colorado Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.  The significant features at the end is Hope Pass.  The Pass is 12,400ft tall and very steep on the far side,  I picked Mike up there with the intention to take him pack the 50 miles.  We started climbing up Hope and Mike was struggling keeping up.

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As we got near the top, the sun was setting and it was extraordinary,

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I ended up hanging with Mike for only 42 miles,  He needed to move very fast at the end and my toe was hurting too much to keep up.  Mike and Mark both finished the race and were in the 334 finisher of the 650+ starters.

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Mike’s Strava:

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Jim’s Strava – last 42 miles:

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
14:08:23 08:40:30 39.92 4.60 31.54 6,484.25
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

Mike completes Bighorn

Over the past day and a half, my buddy Mike has been running the Big Horn 100.  This race is one of the few qualifiers for the Hard Rock 100 which means its tough and has a lot of climbing.  Mike’s entire family came out for the race.  The plan was for us to see Mike once along the course and then I’d meet him at the halfway point.  Below is Mike with his nephew, Noah, right before the start.

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At 11am, 300 runners took off up a dirt road which turned into a single track trail that ascended a ridge 3,500ft above at 8,100ft.

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We met Mike at the 13 mile aid station.  He looked good and was ahead of his goal time.

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The race had internet tracking at several locations and Mike fell a little behind his time at the 30 mile mark.  We were speculating that it was due to weather.

Mike and I left the turn around point aid station around 3:30am.  He told me how hard the climbs were, but the really painful spot was his legs…. it was going to be a long day since our total drop was supposed to be over 11,000ft.

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Everything is better in day light and this far north, the sun comes up around 5:30am.

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The terrain was beautiful – rolling hills that paralleled a river.

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The course took us to the bottom of the river down to an altitude of 4,500ft.

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Unfortunately, going down meant that we had to go up; and with temperatures near all time record highs, climbing out of the canyon was incredibly tough and hot.  The picture below shows the canyon that we climbed out of.

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The trail kept going up and up.  We finally made it back to the aid station where Mike’s family would be waiting (mile 83).

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The trail was slightly downhill until one giant climb at the end back up to 8,100ft.

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From there, it was all down hill.  In some places very steep.  Good news is we made great time, bad news is that it crushed out quads and feet.

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At the end, Mike finished in 33 hours and climbed over 18,000ft.

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Checking out the Big Horn course

I am in Story, Wyoming this week… never been here, but I’ll be back since it’s really pretty.

Mike, Tina, and I drove to different points on the course in preparation for Mike running the Bighorn 100 tomorrow.   The 4 pictures below are from the canyon he will start in.

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Within a mile of the start, Mike will climb to the plateau of the Big Horn mountains and slowly work his way towards the crest, which is the turn around point of the “out and back” race.   The picture below is from the car traveling along a gentle 8% grade road; Mike will be climbing a single track incline up almost a vertical mile.

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We will see him about 4 hours into the race at the 13 mile aid station.  The terrain is rolling green hills that rise and fall over many miles.

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I will meet Mike at mile 48 and pace the remaining 53 miles with him.  I expect to meet him around 2am Saturday morning.  The weather is expected to be in the high 40’s at night and low 70’s during the day.   Perfect running weather, but 101 miles in the mountains is tough no matter what.

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Baz’s Swan Song

I think this was my 6th or 7th Shadow of the Giants 50k.  Every time, Baz (the RD) has said it’s his last, but since his 75th birthday is coming up, I think it might be his last one.  While Baz probably doesn’t know my name, he has offered an incredible amount of inspiration and amusement to me, Tracy, and Preston.  I wouldn’t think that Preston cared about the race, but since he was going to Yosemite instead of racing this time, he was worried he wouldn’t make it for Baz’s raffle time.   Raffle is basically a trivial pursuit game that allows Baz to pass on surplus race material and make inappropriate comments to everyone (totally allowed when you are 75) .  Raffle was fun, with Brad winning duffle and Preston catching a shirt.  The picture below is Baz (far right) and his crew from over 30 years ago…. crazy thing is most of these guys are still running.  A 77 year old finished Shadow this year.

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Tracy after retiring from running crushed the 20k in just over 2 hours in 2013…

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Preston was like Baz’s little pet for several years being the only kid to run the 20k….

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This post is a big tribute to someone that was founder of the sport and brought inspiration and joy to so many…. Baz’s farewell is here:  http://www.bigbaztrailraces.com/16/50K-ShadowG-Jun11.htm (make sure you look at #98 in the 50k)

In regards to the race this year, I beat my best time by 48 seconds, making it my fastest 50k ever….  Lots of football and poker was played during the week – below is a cool shot.

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